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Jamaica one of the most attractive places to invest, says minister

Monday, 21 March 2011 12:00 Written by  font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size

LONDON, England (JIS) -- Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda says Jamaica is one of the most attractive places to invest and conduct business.

Speaking last week at the opening of the third annual Jamaica/United Kingdom (UK) Investment Forum in London, the minister said the government has devised a model to encourage business, which had at its core, transparency, anti-corruption and the adoption of a sound fiscal and monetary policy, devoid of political expediency.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda
This model, he said, included collaboration between the public and private sectors, a commitment to an open market approach, a commitment “to literally suck the oxygen out of unnecessary bureaucracy”; protection of the environment; support for greater access to capital; the privatisation of government owned assets; as well as a commitment to a relentless fight against crime and violence.

Samuda said the wheels are beginning to turn in the manufacturing sector and Jamaica had moved up by 20 places on the Human Development Index.

He told the meeting that the confidence displayed in 2008 at the first investment forum has continued. This confidence, he said, had been strengthened by the positive results that have emerged from the strategies undertaken by the government to bring about economic stability and growth.

“Our confidence in the future of Jamaica as an attractive and sustainable investment destination is as resolute now as it was then. Our optimism then continues to be strengthened by the positive results that continue to emerge from the bold initiatives undertaken by the government to bring about a sense of economic stability,” Samuda said.

“We have seen results. In 2008 inflation was running in the region of 16.8 percent; in 2010 it was 11.7, a 30 percent drop; and this year it will be under 10 percent. The exchange rate has stabilised and we have brought the exchange rate under control. The Net international Reserves (NIR), which in 2009 stood at US$1.6 billion, is now at US$2.4 billion,” the minister added, noting that much of this success had to do with the partnership which the government had forged with the private sector.
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